Derek Harp is happy to have Art Conklin, another legendary ICS control systems cybersecurity figure joining him on the show today! 

Art is an experienced Information Systems Security professional. He has a background in software development, systems science, and information security.

 He is qualified with CISSP, GICSP, GRID, GCIP, GCFA, GCIA, GCDA, CSSLP, CRISC, and Security+.

His specialties include information systems security management, network, and systems security, intrusion detection and intrusion detection monitoring, penetration testing, Incident Response, security policy and procedures, risk/threat assessments, Security training/awareness, user interface design and evaluation, FISMA, Secure code design/software engineering, cyber-physical systems security, and security metrics.

Art is a hacker at heart. Art was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1960. He has been a professor at the University of Houston for many years! He is also a well-known speaker, military veteran, technologist, author, sailor, rocket scientist, father, husband, and grandfather. In this episode of the (CS)²AI Podcast, he talks about his formative years, a life-changing Navy experience, taking advantage of learning situations outside of college, the application of knowledge, the benefits of getting an MBA, and the benefits of on the job training,

If you want to get into the cybersecurity space, you will not want to miss this episode - even if you have qualifications in a different area. 

Show highlights:

  • There is a different level of thinking that gets taught and applied today. (5:49)
  • After doing courses at different universities and then starting med school, Art realized it was not where he wanted to go because it was science, not tech, and it was very theory-driven. (8:10)
  • Art wanted a career where he could do stuff, so he was advised to get an MBA from Harvard or join the military to learn how to lead men, manage a budget, and learn the difference between those things. Harvard was out of reach, so he joined the Navy. (9:07)
  • Art talks about the unique military experience that changed his perspective and made him who he is today. (11:05)
  • The cyber-world can benefit from people with no college degree who have problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and the ability to lead. (15:08)
  • Learning is about more than just knowledge because knowledge needs to be applied. (18:38)
  • Art wanted to leave the Navy to join IBM, but the Admiral did not want him to leave and offered him the opportunity to go to Navy Post Graduate School with no payback. So Art spent three years studying space system engineering, got a Ph.D. equivalent, and flew on a spacecraft. (20:40)
  • In some respects, transitioning out of the military is not easy, from a job perspective. (24:01)
  • Art explains why he did another degree after getting his doctorate. (27:44)
  • Art talks about the qualities of his various mentors and the importance of having connections with people with aspects that will broaden you and make you smarter. (29:14)
  • What he has done and is currently doing at the University of Houston. (32:32)
  • If you want to work in cybersecurity and you have a breadth of knowledge and experience, you are likely to succeed in the space. (39:16)
  • If you want to learn more about OT, many resources are available. Use and apply them. You can also email Art for local resources at [email protected]
  • Most people are willing to share their knowledge and become mentors, so reach out to those you look up to. (44:42)
  • How to invest in yourself. (46:20)



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